An era is a period of time distinguished by a particular character. “It was the Eisenhower era, when people were more willing to serve in the military.”

Era has a couple of great things about it. First, it is used whenever you talk about dinosaurs to describe the various geologic time periods, for instance the Paleozoic Era, or the Jurassic Era. Second, it is a word beloved of crossword puzzle editors, so if you’re looking for a three-letter word for an age, look no further. Third, it sometimes confuses people who are talking about the ERA, or the Equal Rights Amendment, a vestige of the era of political feminism.

Definitions of era

n a period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event

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the era of Islam's ascendancy from the death of Mohammed until the 13th century; some Moslems still maintain that the Moslem world must always have a calif as head of the community
Christian era
the time period beginning with the supposed year of Christ's birth
Age of Reason
a movement in Europe from about 1650 until 1800 that advocated the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established doctrine
Elizabethan age
a period in British history during the reign of Elizabeth I in the 16th century; an age marked by literary achievement and domestic prosperity
Victorian age
a period in British history during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century; her character and moral standards restored the prestige of the British monarchy but gave the era a prudish reputation
Baroque period
the historic period from about 1600 until 1750 when the baroque style of art, architecture, and music flourished in Europe
Middle Ages
the period of history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance
the period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the modern world; a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries
Italian Renaissance
the early period when Italy was the center of the Renaissance
technological revolution
the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation
Reign of Terror
the historic period (1793-94) during the French Revolution when thousands were executed
Harlem Renaissance
a period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished
New Deal
the historic period (1933-1940) in the United States during which President Franklin Roosevelt's economic policies were implemented
Reconstruction Period
the period after the American Civil War when the southern states were reorganized and reintegrated into the Union; 1865-1877
the reign of Charles II in England; 1660-1685
Great Depression
a period during the 1930s when there was a worldwide economic depression and mass unemployment
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an era of existence or influence
age, historic period
an era of history having some distinctive feature
modern era
the present or recent times
the historic period preceding the Middle Ages in Europe
golden age
any period (sometimes imaginary) of great peace and prosperity and happiness
information age
a period beginning in the last quarter of the 20th century when information became easily accessible through publications and through the manipulation of information by computers and computer networks
Jazz Age
the 1920s in the United States characterized in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald as a period of wealth, youthful exuberance, and carefree hedonism
the period during which a monarch is sovereign
turn of the century
the period from about ten years before to ten years after a new century
Type of:
period, period of time, time period
an amount of time

n a major division of geological time; an era is usually divided into two or more periods

geological era
Age of Mammals
approximately the last 63 million years
Age of Reptiles
from 230 million to 63 million years ago
Paleozoic era
from 544 million to about 230 million years ago
Type of:
geologic time, geological time
the time of the physical formation and development of the earth (especially prior to human history)

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